All Things Must Pass

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By Michael Uyttebroek

As the time at the SSSC slips into the recesses of memory there is one insight which I wish to keep fresh in my mind: everything has a beginning and an end. Whether it is interpreted as a seemingly negative or positive event or happening or whether it is viewed from a neutral perspective, no matter which case, all must come to pass: the ceaseless rainy days and nights, the muddy and slippery forest beds, feeding the plump dandelion greens to the geese, the warm meal before me, the interesting conversation or the long flight back to Canada. The preparation, the anticipation, the doing, the ending and the moving forth in one continuous movement, ever-transforming…the coming into being and the passing, all of which occurs in the being of existence.

A good example of this process can be manifested when sitting with a plate of delicious food before you. It is a certainty that it will be eaten. There is a specific beginning with the first fork-full. One can choose to fully appreciate the flavours and consistencies, taking one’s time to savour each bite, but we all know with absolute certainty that sooner or later this phase will end and seamlessly slip into the next phase of conscious or unconscious participation with “being”. This applies to any activity, with each breath, each renewed inhalation and expiration, and also with life and its inevitable termination. Everything has its beginning and end and it is up to us, how we choose to view this process, either as a burden or joy or one rich with problems and their solutions. Invariably we will all die and this phase of existence will transform into another. This must be and will continue to be ad infinitum. All the little beginnings and endings tied together in a ceaselessness of being.

No matter how permanent and unchanging things may appear to be, it is a certainty that all things and events must pass, to be transformed, and through the laws of cause and effect, manifest themselves anew. With absolute certainty the words before you will come to an end. You can choose to contemplate the meaning or not but nevertheless the coming into being and the passing away must be.

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